Acts of Devotion

Even after more than 7 years of choosing to leave behind the religion I was born into (Catholicism), I find myself struggling not to revert back to some of the teachings—not because i’m losing faith in my beliefs, but rather because i’m growing stronger in them.

I bet that sounds kind of crazy, coming from someone whose patron god is Lucifer.

But I never really hated the catholic faith, or christianity for that matter. Although I didn’t appreciate being dragged to mass on sundays or being forced to take catechism classes for my first communion, I thought of it as more of a cultural thing rather than a religious duty (those of you that come from a typical hispanic family will know what i’m talking about).

So I went through all of it because my family thought it was necessary—not that I had much of a say in it anyways as a little kid. But looking back on my experiences now, I can appreciate a lot of what goes on in a typical mass.

I was taught that I should show proper reverence to god, to humble myself and kneel when praying. I don’t think I quite understood at the time why I had to kneel, other than it was I was told to do. There was no feeling connected to this act, it didn’t stem from a desire to please god, it was just a show of going through the motions.

Now, however, I understand the innate desire to kneel before one’s god. No longer is it an issue of what i’m told to do, but rather what I want to do. Although I understand that my patron and I are on equal footing, I admire him greatly and wish to pay him the highest respect and honor—and in my mind, that goes back to what I was taught as a child. Kneeling as an act of devotion, then, is what I feel compelled to do when in prayer (not only to him, but to any god who I have chosen to honor).

But in my patron’s eyes, kneeling is an act of subservience. No matter how much devotion and sincerity I put behind it, kneeling in prayer will only be a symbol of inferiority to him. He will not allow me to degrade myself as such, and so I no longer kneel in prayer.

But at least I can say that I understand and appreciate this act of devotion and faith now, and respect those who choose to do so


7 thoughts on “Acts of Devotion

  1. Cynthia says:

    Hello! I stumbled upon your blog not too long ago, and I must say I’ve really enjoyed reading through it. Your posts are so real and down-to-earth. It’s really been inspiring to me as someone who goes through very similar issues regarding faith. Thank you so much for taking the time to post your experiences online. ^-^

    Speaking of acts of devotion though, I was wondering if you happen to have an altar dedicated to Lucifer (or at all)? Or if you don’t have one, have you ever felt the desire to have one?

    • Thank you! I happen to have two altars, actually–one at home, and one in my dorm at school. The one I have here at school is pretty bare, I almost hesitate to call it an altar. It has what it needs to serve its purpose, though–offering bowl, libation cup, and a few other consecrated items. I think I keep my altars because I want to, or as you said, feel the desire to have them as a reminder of my devotion–Lucifer has never formally asked for his own personal altar, and he doesn’t seem to mind that I occasionally use the space to honor other deities.

  2. Hellsmedic says:

    Pardon for the necro, but this post really caught my eye. A few weeks ago, I was at a bonfire with a bunch of my station-brothers (I’m a Firefighter), and it just so happened that our department chaplain was there. We all went around talking about our faith, and of course, most of the people at my station are Christian, and of course, when the circle got around to me, I answered quite simply that I was a pagan, believed in more than one god, and left it at that. No one really asked questions, except for when the circle came around to my Chief.

    As it turns out, my Chief is . . .actually Native American. I hadn’t known this, but it also turned out, he’s a prominant dancer here locally for their particular rituals. He then went on talking about he felt Christianity was damaging, in it’s way, to his people, because it taught them to look to the ground and the dust at their feet to find god as opposed to the heavens, and that was why he would never kneel to worship. Needless to say, I heard Lu in those words, and now I hear him in yours, and it’s quite an interesting coincidence (that’s, you know, totally not!). I’ve not knelt to pray or speak to him since [that night], nor will I, but when I hoop (dance) for him, I keep my eye on the sky. It’s quite a thing to know that I’m not the only one.

    So, thanks for this.

    • You know, a fellow pagan blogger wrote an interesting piece about synchronicity between devotees, and how the gods could possibly be influencing one so that another may be provided with guidance. I bring this up because I don’t think its a mere coincidence that you responded the way you did to this article so soon after I voiced some concerns I had to Lu about this very topic. I’ve had internal conflicts between this aspect of reverence, due to my upcoming participation in an Aztec dance group which frequently uses kneeling motions as a part of their dance devotionals to the mesoamerican gods. Despite my desire to connect with my heritage and the gods of my ancestors, I couldn’t reconcile showing them the proper respect they demanded and staying true to what Lu asked of me.

      But your Chief is right, and that made me realize a point that I had neglected until now that you point it out–it’s not about kneeling to show subservience. Looking up toward the heavens is just as essential as staying low to the ground, because my ancestors had a great amount of respect for both the earth and the sky. It’s not so much as being humble and showing reverence as it is connecting with these primal deities in the ways they knew best, with the gods acting as manifestations of their surroundings. To kneel is to be closer to the ground, closer to the gods of earth and abundance, while we look up to remind ourselves of the presence of the sky gods.

      So all in all, I think it is I that should be thanking you for helping me come to terms with my more recent inner struggles! =]

      • Hellsmedic says:

        I think this time, maybe we can call it mutual, Ja? And as a side note, I really enjoy reading your blog, and will echo what you said about there not being a coincidence in this case. Maybe we were sorta shoved each others way. At any rate, thank you again, and I look forward to having lots of these sorts of discussions back and forth. ^^

  3. Dariusdrgn says:

    Ran across this post, well your entire blog when finally deciding to read others’ experiences with Lucifer. (Your blog was the one that mentally stood out on the search menu so I clicked). Very odd that this topic was here. I am pagan and worship the Gods, but have had a mental and emotional hang up when it came to Lucifer. A very bad one, that has clung to me for years, even after dreaming of him…etc.
    Anyway, back on point… I finally chose to call out his name, take the plunge and face my fears. Needless to say, I actually got a response so took the next step after settling in to the idea that he noticed, my effort. I set up an altar for him, where it seemed he preferred and then began to kneel, then stood up, began to kneel and then stood up. It was a very strange moment and even when I finally did kneel, it felt ‘off’ the entire time and every time since. Your post has helped with that, as has your blog in general, as the info here is what I was looking for. I am not seeking the traditional dark outlook or a slew of soul selling ridiculousness. I actually told him that I needed to classify him as a God, nothing else, if this learning process was going to emotionally work, so these blocks can be moved away, but the kneeling just was not going over. Good to know it is across the board and not another hang up I needed to work on.

    • I don’t think I know of any other devotees who have had issues with kneeling and bowing, so ‘across the board’ might not be the most accurate of phrases, but yes–in my case, this particular restriction was one which really made me stop to think about the deity I was dealing with, and what it meant to be his devotee.

      I’m glad you found my blog to be of use to your own path in this situation. Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a note =]

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